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Dear 2088, I'm Sorry That Your Society is Damaged Due to 2023 Internet Misusage

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Hello 2088, I’m from 2023. I’m here to apologize for the irresponsible ways my society has used the Internet and how it resulted in social disaster for your society. Anybody from the 2020s who agrees can write their name in a comment on this article. This way, they can let the future know where they stand.

I fail to understand how people can be given a platform that contains almost all the relevant information in the world and that allows them to communicate to almost anybody instantly, and then still manage to screw it up this badly. They’re given the world at a low cost and then waste it on trolling, blocking people, spreading misinformation, and making negative generalizations about groups of people.

I study online social interaction with the same inventive attitude as people who study technology and medicine in 2023. It pains me to say that the vast majority of problems caused by Internet interactions are easily avoidable. Depending on the situation, it can be a matter of just asking people before making assumptions, being willing to be proven wrong, trying to understand someone’s perspective before shutting it down, or not expecting the opposing political side to immediately understand the subtext of your political views without telling them.

Just because I’m from 2023 doesn’t mean I wish to be associated with this online culture. I’m very concerned with how it will affect your lives. And the issue cannot be solved by university researchers because the people who’ll benefit from these changes will not be reading academic publications. It will actually be solved by people who post about the situation on the Internet. This way, they can work from within to cure the affliction.

Tim Marshall/Unsplash

Yet the problem is too widespread for any one person to make any large-scale changes, so I took the initiative to carve a small corner of the Internet where people have no incentive to display such careless behaviour to the masses. The final result is Nonmonetized Together, a social hub where anybody is free to suggest, develop, and receive feedback on ideas for making the Internet a better place. Well, not just the Internet, I mean the physical world as well, but the solution to a lot of physical world problems starts with considering how Internet communication plays a role in the problem. Accessible through Medium and the Fediverse, Nonmonetized Together takes advantage of the idea that people’s decisions and beliefs can be influenced by what they read on the Internet, and that we have the power of making a positive or negative influence.

How can I be certain that people on Nonmonetized Together will not benefit from deliberately causing trouble? Well, every word I write and every decision I make for this community is made with the intention for avoiding side effects that generally come with social media. Maybe founders of some other online communities do the same, but what’s unique about Nonmonetized Together is that this is its main purpose. It’s not to share memes, discuss a fandom, repost articles, or anything else.

This means that Nonmonetized Together will also attract people who want to see positive change on Internet communities. These people will focus on being compassionate, articulate, inspirational, and patient.

I believe that even if anyone tries to provoke outrage within the community, they will be unsuccessful because their approach will stand in opposition to the motivations of the community members and their contagious positivity. Many other communities let their emotions get the best of them and try to “defeat” the troll, giving into their toxicity and the rest of the Internet’s negative atmosphere. Instead, I’m counting on the community to provide peaceful and logical responses that will instead frustrate their attempts at rage bait instead of getting sucked into them. Perhaps this could be done by focusing on their unnecessary nature of the junk comments, not their shortcomings.

Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

On the other hand, people who flat-out ignore small-scale trolls are just as toxic as the trolls themselves. I get that large-scale attacks can go out of control and needs to be shut down in those cases, but I’m talking about small-scale trolling.

It’s frustrating to see so many people fall for the advice to “ignore the trolls” without making the link between that and the social unrest in 2023. People keep saying they wish society wasn’t so paranoid and hostile, yet it seems like they want to do everything BUT directly respond to the causes. Websites in 2023 either remove inflammatory comments or encourage them. Nonmonetized Together is the only online space I can think of that aims to hold people responsible, turn these incidents into positive learning opportunities, and provide a better world for our children and grandchildren.

In 2023, people really seem to think that ignoring Internet trolls takes away their power, but ignoring them would likely mean the troll would just move on to someone who would give them exactly what they want anyway. So, ignoring them does nothing at all.

To make authentic social progress, people must react in a way that will not satisfy the disruptors, and that is what I am hoping to do here. As Bishop Robert Barron wrote, “[t]o turn the other cheek is to prevent [one] from hitting you the same way again. It is not to run or to acquiesce, but rather to signal to the aggressor that you refuse to accept the set of assumptions that have made his aggression possible” (50).

Another feature about Nonmonetized Together is that it aims to have a level playing field. Now, competition over resources, power, and influence is great from a social justice standpoint, but I hope people will be discouraged from it on Nonmonetized Together (I’ve never seen anybody attempt it on here before). I just feel that there should be at least one online community where people can share knowledge without worrying about running into those who care more about attacking them than anything they have to say. Imagine coming up with a great idea on Nonmonetized Together, being able to run it through a noncompetitive community, test it out in an environment with a level playing field, and only then taking it out into the wider world and using it as an ideological weapon. The opposition’s ideas wouldn’t stand a chance because they wouldn’t have the same screening process.

This requires the users and me to have an awareness of the inequalities present in the outside world, be careful that they do not take over Nonmonetized Together, and be willing to learn about the existence of inequalities they were previously unaware of. If people do attempt domination tactics on this community, hopefully they will be devalued by the wisdom in other members’ ideas and responses.

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For a couple reasons, I feel like I’m a great candidate for making sure Nonmonetized Together doesn’t fail. First, because I’m extremely honest but try to be sensitive to other people’s feelings at the same time. I’m motivated to be honest because it is socially rewarding, because I struggle to lie convincingly, and because I don’t like feeling guilty.

The second reason is because I have realized I don’t need any more political power than I already am given. Because of this, I trained my brain to stop affiliating with any political sides. This way, I could leave it up to the readers to take ownership of their own political activity on Nonmonetized Together, instead of being under my political control and influence. I also chose to seek meaning from Catholicism instead of politics, and the result is that I’m more willing to inspire others than bring down people I disagree with.

Inspiring others is what Nonmonetized Together is all about. I’m that sure the left, centre, and right all have their own ways of being inspired by what they read on here, but all that matters is that they are inspired positively and productively. If you feel that this does a better job at supporting future generations than the current state of the Internet in 2023, sign your name in the comments section, but be honest! Historians may look back at this post and trace your name to your online activity.


Barron, Robert. Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith. Image, 2011.

#Future #Power #Internet #Sociology #Activism